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Forum topic by Stupe posted 11-09-2012 02:56 AM 1072 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 1994 days

11-09-2012 02:56 AM

I am getting back into wood working after a long hiatis and I am soaking up information like a sponge… but there is so much to learn. Yes, there are You Tube videos and such, but it doesn’t do justice to “hands on”. I have looked and looked for classes. I have done Woodcraft one-day classes but I want more. Seems like the week classes (Lonnie Bird and such) are sold out a year in advance. Community Colleges in my area (Eastern TN) are not offering anything. I need to keep my day job to pay for all my new stuff, but I am wondering, do/did most folks here teach themselves, did they grow up woodworking, do an apprentice, or how did they learn? Much is common sense and I can get by with what I know, but nothing beats learning from experience.
Any advice on where to go to adavnce my weak skills? Just keep reading?
I apologize in adavnce to all you folks who are rolling you eyes right now.

12 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile


4683 posts in 2318 days

#1 posted 11-09-2012 03:27 AM

I learned by reading books then putting it into practice. I buy plans for the things I want to build and then build them, buying tools and materials as I go.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View ChuckC's profile


828 posts in 2902 days

#2 posted 11-09-2012 03:34 AM

For me, a lot of pine and a lot of time. The internet is a great resource to learn about the various aspects of woodworking but nothing will replace practice and trail & error. Look in the member index of this site and see if there’s anyone in your area that can mentor.

View Stupe's profile


9 posts in 1994 days

#3 posted 11-09-2012 03:50 AM

Thanks, bondogaposis and ChuckC. I have been reading like crazy, subscribing to every magazine, buying and reading every book I can find, looking at every video and reading every site I can find (this is the best sire by the way!) I find myself doing more planning and reading than I do actual projects and building. I guess this is the only way – to learn as I go and teach myself. I will keep on with my projects and doing my best. I was just curious as to how others were taught and learned.
Thanks again.

View ShaneA's profile


6910 posts in 2565 days

#4 posted 11-09-2012 03:54 AM

I read a lot of books, watched the videos and TV shows. It is a lot of trial and error, jump in be safe and work your way up to where you are happy with the results. Woodworking is like sex or golf, in the sense you dont need to be good at to enjoy it. Good luck.

View Stupe's profile


9 posts in 1994 days

#5 posted 11-09-2012 04:00 AM

Ha! ShaneA – - – now that is something I can relate to. I will just relax and let it come.

View oluf's profile


260 posts in 3006 days

#6 posted 11-09-2012 04:25 AM

If you can’t find schools to attend try to find a woodworkers club in yiur aera to join. Get involved. Ask other members if any one would to like to share work time in your shop and thiers. It makes the learning process go much faster when it is a groupe activity. Even if it is only two in the groupe.

-- Nils, So. Central MI. Wood is honest.Take the effort to understand what it has to tell you before you try to change it.

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2155 days

#7 posted 11-09-2012 04:58 AM

Kind of reminds me of the story about the guy in New York City who is looking for Carnagie Hall. He spots a guy walking along with a piano on his back so he asks him “How do you get to Carnagie Hall ?”. The dude answers “Practise man, practise.”

Seriously, read mags, hang around other woodworkers and practise. Lonnie Bird is a wizard but I would not recommend him for a newbie unless money is no object.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

28946 posts in 2305 days

#8 posted 11-09-2012 05:42 AM

Welcome to LJ’s

We will answer any questions we can, but nothing teaches like experience. Cheap wood and lots of practice.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Woodknack's profile


11482 posts in 2347 days

#9 posted 11-09-2012 07:15 AM

View Manitario's profile


2629 posts in 2850 days

#10 posted 11-09-2012 08:30 AM

I am learning by reading books, ww magazines and spending a lot of time on LJ’s and other ww forums, looking at how other woodworkers do what they do. As others have said already, the big thing is practice. I’ve read and watched internet videos and watched an online ww course on doing handcut dovetails but I still majorly suck at them. Same thing with cutting mortise and tenon joints. I could go to a course and have someone hold my hand, but I think I’d still suck at it until I’ve practised, practised, practised.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Stupe's profile


9 posts in 1994 days

#11 posted 11-09-2012 01:01 PM

I realize there are no shortcuts and it is practice, practice, practice that refines the skills. I was mainly curious as to whether most folks here were self taught by trial and error (because it sure seems like I make alot of errors!), or if they had instruction. I did take two woodshop classes in high school, but that was 30 years ago. I took Oluf’s suggestion and looked for a club in my area and it turns out we do have one. I will likely go to the next meeting.

View Earlextech's profile


1160 posts in 2657 days

#12 posted 11-09-2012 01:59 PM

Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking – his books are the bible of working with wood.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

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